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It’s Friday the 13th: What’s Your Disaster Plan?

July 13, 2018 Leave a comment DRI Admin

Among triskaidekaphobics (those who fear the number 13), today is a day to prepare for the worst. But while statistically speaking, you can probably rest easy, that’s not to say that previous Fridays the 13th haven’t brought their share of unexpected calamities.

First the good news: while some studies have erroneously suggested that there have been increased numbers of hospital admissions, that women are somehow more accident prone on Friday the 13th, or that the number 13 is the unluckiest lotto ball number, the fact is there’s no real evidence to support the superstitious belief.

That said, there have been some surprising accidents that happened to take place on the date, including:

  • 1940 – Nazis dropped five bombs on Buckingham Palace during World War II
  • 1972 – The plane full of Uruguayan rugby players crashed in the Chilean mountains without supplies, eventually resorting to cannibalism (as featured in the movie Alive)
  • 1976 – Ironically, a man who took the day off work after having a bad feeling something would happen to him was killed when the roof of his apartment caved in
  • 2006 – Called the “October Surprise,” Buffalo, NY, was hit with two feet of snow, leaving 300,000 people without power
  • 2010 – This one’s a triple-whammy: on Aug. 13, at 13:13 (military time), a 13-year-old boy was struck by lightning
  • 2012 – The Costa Concordia cruise ship capsized off the Tuscan coast after striking a reef
  • 2029 – Plenty of time to start getting ready – apparently an asteroid is projected to come within 22,000 miles of Earth on April 13 that year (with a one-in-100,000 chance of collision).

Additional fun fact: some famous triskaidekaphobics include Napoleon, Mark Twain, Franklin Roosevelt, Stephen King, and Richard Wagner (cursed with a birth year, 1813, that actually adds up to 13, just one of many 13-related coincidence in the composer’s life)!

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